### Fantasy math

This is how fantasy math works:

Set up an equation A + B + C = D, in which A equals one amount, B equals another, C equals the amount of mortgage we can comfortably afford, and D equals the price of a given house.

Take the left side of this equation. Replace A with the sum of X and Y. Define X to be 2/5 of A. Make Y an undefined variable -- it can be as much as 1/4 of A or as little as 0.

You should now have X + Y + B + C on the left side of the equation. Magically, even though the sum of X and Y is less than A, certain fantasy mathematicians -- those responsible for defining A, and subsequently replacing it with two other variables -- still think X + Y + B + C adds up to D.

Since we can't afford fantasy, we'll probably need to work up another equation for another house. At least this time we'll have all the variables in place first.

Set up an equation A + B + C = D, in which A equals one amount, B equals another, C equals the amount of mortgage we can comfortably afford, and D equals the price of a given house.

Take the left side of this equation. Replace A with the sum of X and Y. Define X to be 2/5 of A. Make Y an undefined variable -- it can be as much as 1/4 of A or as little as 0.

You should now have X + Y + B + C on the left side of the equation. Magically, even though the sum of X and Y is less than A, certain fantasy mathematicians -- those responsible for defining A, and subsequently replacing it with two other variables -- still think X + Y + B + C adds up to D.

Since we can't afford fantasy, we'll probably need to work up another equation for another house. At least this time we'll have all the variables in place first.

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